I have a guilty pleasure when it comes to books – historical romance. Not the Harlequin, every cover has a shirtless guy type of books, I mean the ones that seem to be thoroughly researched and have a solid, well-built plot based in history that the plot is centered on. The way I look at it, if a book that falls into the ‘historical romance’ category is all romance and very little history, I’m not reading it.
I’ve never had that problem with Julie Garwood’s books. That’s why I can read them for the fourth or fifth time and still love the story for the picture that she paints of love and history.
Ransom, part of the ‘Laird’s Brides’ series, is an excellent example of that.
It’s the story of Gillian and Brodick Buchanan – Gillian being a strong, courageous Englishwoman and Brodick being an even stronger, more courageous Scottish laird. It’s clear from read the back of the book that they are meant to be together and will be, but the path that Garwood takes to get there isn’t a straight line to the happily ever after. Gillian and Brodick fall for each other the first time they lay eyes on the other, but they’re reluctant to admit it. That makes the story good. I like a little angst and drama mixed in with my happy romance.
Even more importantly, as someone who likes history and always checks facts that interest me, Garwood paints a very accurate picture of life in the Highlands. As a reader, I’m transported to that time and that place. That’s always a must for me when it comes to a book. If I can’t see myself there, in Gillian’s place, I probably don’t want to be there.